Day of Caring 2017: a day for the wild Northwest

September 19, 2017 Alaina Kowitz

Every year in September, thousands of volunteers across King County donate a day - called Day of Caring - to help non-profit organizations on important projects that work towards their missions. 

Conservation Northwest has been proud to participate in Day of Caring over the past several years, and are grateful to the work that our volunteers have done to help make the Northwest more wild every year. 

This year, Day of Caring fell on Friday, September 15, and we were fortunate to have a record number of 70 volunteers from Microsoft and AT&T join us near Gold Creek on Snoqualmie Pass for some habitat restoration work. 

The weather couldn't have been better for Day of Caring this year! Photo: Maureen McGregor
The weather couldn't have been better for Day of Caring this year! Photo: Maureen McGregor

Gold Creek is an integral area near the section of Interstate 90 where the wildlife crossings that we've worked with the Washington State Department of Transportation to build pass under the highway. Two overcrossings will also join the more than dozen undercrossings already in place. In order to encourage wildlife to use these pathways, however, we must also provide inviting habitat on either side of I-90 so that animals can actually access the crossings. 

Volunteers begin planting at Gold Creek. Photo: Maureen McGregor
Volunteers begin planting at Gold Creek. Photo: Maureen McGregor

This is why for the past several years we have worked with the Forest Service to revegetate areas around Gold Creek and Gold Creek Pond to slowly create premium habitat for wildlife coming down from the Alpine Lake Wilderness north of I-90, which intersects a critical north-south wildlife migration corridor. And hosting volunteers every year through Day of Caring helps us get hundreds of plants in the ground just in time for the rainy season to kick in. 

The view of Gold Creek and the Cascade Mountains beyond was hard to beat. Photo: Maureen McGregor
The view of Gold Creek and the Cascade Mountains beyond was hard to beat. Photo: Maureen McGregor
A volunteer works to water freshly planted shrubs to boost survival rates. Photo: Alaina Kowitz
A volunteer works to water freshly planted shrubs to boost survival rates. Photo: Alaina Kowitz

The rain held off for our planting day, however, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful, sunny day where we planted over 400 shrubs on and near the banks of Gold Creek Pond and Gold Creek, which serves as a tributary for threatened bull trout. 

A huge thank you to all our volunteers who joined us for this important work - the wild Northwest thanks you too!

A huge thank you to all of our volunteers and staff who came out to spend the day planting! Photo: Alaina Kowitz
A huge thank you to all of our volunteers and staff who came out to spend the day planting! Photo: Alaina Kowitz
For more information about our work in the I-90 corridor, visit our webpage at:.conservationnw.org/what-we-do/connectivity/i90wildlifecorridor

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